Friday, January 31, 2014

Love is kind

I marvel all the people who are kind just because that's who they are. That would be really cool. I'm not like that, though. And maybe you aren't either. Do not give up! Being kind shouldn't be an option for us. "It's not in my personality" shouldn't be an excuse. God wants us to be kind. And the best reason I know is that God has been kind to us. Oh, so, so kind!

Here are some verses, not in any particular order:

"But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."
Luke 6:35-36

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32

Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
2 Timothy 2:23-24

How about you? Do you know some more verses on being kind? What are ways you show kindness? Please share.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Love is patient

Hi! For the next 16 days I want to go through 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 with you. It's the famous 'love is patient, love is kind'. And if we'll do one characteristic a day we'll finish the 14th. :)

So, for today: "Love is patient" (verse 4). I don't know about you, but that's something I have a big problem with. It takes so little for someone or something to get on my nerves. I need to work on that. Here are some verses on patience:

Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.
Proverbs 14:29

Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.
Proverbs 16:32


How about you? Are you patient with others? What is some advice you can give on keeping your cool? Please comment.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

God has plans for all of us

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

I need to remember that God has plans for me, good plans. I was stressed on Monday because my parents brought up the ACT and another pretty big test (that I have to take this year). I'm still a sophomore, but... it gets stressful. Here's my one-sided point of view (my parents would probably say something completely different): I feel like I have to do perfectly and that requires lots of studying. I wonder if I'll ever get another free minute or not until I pass the test. I cry because I feel like too much is being asked of me. Then I sit there feeling not-so-smart to say the least, as my dad lectures me on how there will be more tests in my life and I need to get ready and not cry. I try to stop my tears. I get annoyed that Mom and Dad say they'll help, although before they didn't follow up too well on promises like that. I try to not go crazy when I learn that there's trigonometry or whatever on the ACT. Then I go to my room. I sit down feeling useless. I enjoy making a schedule for studying (I just like planning things like that).I try to not think about how much work I'll have to do on later days. I sigh.

Guess what I forgot? That God will be with me. Through the whole process. I am not alone and He will give me strength.

How about you? Has something stressed you lately? Did you remember that you are not alone or did you get all those emotions boiling before you remembered? Please comment.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

First 406 word of my story!!!

Hi!!! It was wonderful to finally start the story I have been planning for awhile. Wonderful!!! I know I'll have my share of doubts and "oh-this-story-is-awful" thoughts later on, but now I'm really glad I started. :)

How about you? Have you been putting things off for awhile? Or have you just started something you had put off before? How did it feel? Please share.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

I have to and want to be all these different people and I just... I just...can't!!!

If the whole world were to tell me that I was the only one who felt this way, I would smile, cry myself to sleep that night and wake up glad that only I know how this feels. But I read books. And too many of them are filled with girls and boys trying to meet and exceed the expectations and wants of those around them. And not being able to. Trying to be a good Christian, a good son or daughter, a good student, a good athlete, a cool boy/girl in school, etc. and failing and crying when nobody sees. Sometimes it's not just what others expect, but who we want to be too. And sometimes who we want to be is placed on the wish-list while we work on those people we "have" to be.How, oh how, should we balance everything? What should we do to not go crazy or more likely severely depressed from all the constant pressure?

Believe me, if I had all the answers I would tell you. If I knew how to skip by those depressing moments and always be content with who God made me to be, I would have done it a long time ago. Life would be cool. I would have to work on not being prideful, but I would have said a relieved "goodbye!" to all those unpleasant things called "expectations I simply cannot live up to". But I don't have all the answers. And I get frustrated often enough that I'm not as good as I could be, not the someone God and my parents and others want me to be.



The only answer I know is turn to God. He won't put us down and scowl at us for not being perfect. He knows we can't be. He'll be as much by our side when we fail and make mistakes as He is when everything's going well. We need to trust Him.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Stealing and lying

Exodus 20:15,16: "You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor."

Stealing is wrong. Lying is wrong. Sadly, there was a problem with those two in our family yesterday. It wasn't over something big. Actually,  it was just over a few Twizzlers. But just the concept of it is awful. I hope it won't ever happen again. Stealing and lying are never OK, even over little things.

"Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment." Proverbs 12:19 (NIV)

But there's good news too: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9 (NIV)

How about you? Have you tried to get out of a problem by lying? Have you made it right again? 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis

  The Breadwinner has been an ugly and beautiful story. Deborah Ellis depicts the ugliness, the awfulness of life for lots of Afghanistan men, women, and children. But she doesn't depict it in a way that we don't want to have anything to do with it. Rather we yearn for the beauty Afghanistan had before the bombs fell.


   The story is told from the perspective of an eleven-year-old girl, struggling with her family to survive. The Breadwinner is a wonderful book that creates sympathy as well as the knowledge that there are still people in this world that need help. We need to help.
  This isn't a Christian book, but it is still amazing.
  For more on Deborah Ellis, here is here website.

God's gift for everyone

OK, I (finally) got it. I'll try and post here Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Maybe Sunday too if I feel inspired. :)

Today during my Bible reading I read about how Peter explained to the Jewish believers why he went into a non-Jew's house and told the Gospel there (Acts 11:1-18).God had picked the Jews among the other nations years ago and now "the circumcised believers criticized [Peter] and said, "You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them."(Acts 11:2b-3) His answer to them is pretty amazing, I think.
“...the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning...  So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?” (Acts 11:15b, 17)

I am so, so glad that we, the non-Jews, can also have God's wonderful gift: the forgiveness of sins and eternal life with Him.

How about you? What have you been reading in the Bible? What stood out to you? Please share.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord!!! Praise Him forever!

Yesterday turned out to be somewhat like a nightmare. My 8-year-old brother was almost kidnapped. He jumped out of the car, though and for some reason the men didn't go after him. He's OK now, but I shudder when I think of what could have happened. Praise God he is OK. Please pray for further safety. And please pray that the police will believe him and not think he made it up. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dedicating talents to the Lord

I'm so glad for communions. It's a time when I can slow down and remember the remarkable thing Christ has done for me: He died and rose.

For me it's also a time to dedicate my talents and desires to Him. I want to write. I love to look back and see the stuff I've written. I want to be published someday. It's something I really want and need to constantly give back to the Lord. It can happen only if He wants it and I want Him to have the praise. I need to remember that. Communions are great reminders.

How about you? What talents has God given you? Do you give them back to the Lord?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Timing

Timing is a lot. Today my brother was told that he can go to a large city and compete there in a school contest. Cool, right? The problem is he needs to go the day after tomorrow and there's papers to do and all that. So now we're not that super excited as we could have been. How hard would it have been to tell us a week ago? To give us time to do all the official stuff and just get used to the idea that he's going? And we'd be so much more interested in doing this.

 There are a lot of times when timing is important, like when you're asking a favor or asking someone to forgive you. For some it's more important than for others, but it's always there, I think.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1

 How about you? Do you think timing is important? What are some times you plan when to say something or do something?


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Testify to love

 Testify to Love by Avalon is my favorite song right now, I think. I like the lyrics, the music, the voices - everything.

 I looked up "testify" in the dictionary and a here is a couple of it's meanings: "to bear witness to", "to serve as evidence of". We should do that. We should serve as evidence that there is a love greater than we can imagine. Then people would look and ask "Why is he/she acting like that? What makes him/her different? Why is he/she so nice?" Easier said than done, of course. Much easier. But let's try. :)

 "Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us." 1 Peter 2:12

 How about you? What are some of your favorite songs?  What ideas do you have for testifying to love? 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Pay It Forward

 I  recently re-watched Pay It Forward. It is an amazing story of one average kid who changed the world. It really makes you think. The idea is that one person will help 3 others in something big, something they can't do themselves. Then those three will each help 3 more people, who in their turn will help 3 more and so on. The movie is based on a book. I haven't read it yet, but maybe I will someday. I recommend this to everyone!!!

 If you are interested, there is an official website of the global Pay It Forward movement.

 How about you? Which movies do you like? What messages do they carry? How can you help 3 people? 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Promising

 It's sometimes interesting to see what sort of things people promise each other. A while back while watching Star Wars Mom mentioned that Anakin kept promising things he wasn't in control of. Like, "I won't let you die in childbirth, Padme. I promise." How could he promise that? He can't control life and death. In another movie we watched (Neverland about the "beginnings" of Neverland) Peter promises to do everything he can to get the boys back home. I like that more. He doesn't promise to do it, but to try.  

Sometimes it's better not to promise at all. Or to promise and say "God willing" and mean it. By ourselves we can do nothing, but with God we can do anything (Philippians 4:13). Let's not forget that we can try, but the ultimate choice is up to the Lord.

How about you? What sort of things do you promise? Do you always follow up on them?